Keep It Moving: Dietary Fiber

High fiber food

Cereal and grain-based products boast a common message: Eat more fiber! But why?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that comes in two different forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and it helps your body maintain healthy glucose (sugar) levels as well as lower your blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, and its primary function is to help food move through your digestive system.

On top of this, fiber helps regulate bowel movements and bowel health by preventing constipation (recent studies show fiber may even potentially lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer). High-fiber foods may also help you maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight, as it is more filling than low-fiber food.

While fiber supplements can be helpful particularly in solving constipation, most of them do not provide the full spectrum of health benefits that fiber from whole foods does. There are some easy ways to include more fiber in your diet.

Try kicking off your day with a high-fiber cereal. Swap out white flour for high-fiber alternatives, such as whole-wheat flour, brown rice, or bulgur wheat. Pack your snacks with high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables or a handful of nuts. Incorporate beans, peas, and lentils to your meals for an extra boost.

Fiber | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet – Mayo Clinic